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04-09-2013, 03:44 AM #1
I know it's been a while since I posted, mainly due to being sick, but also because things seemed to be going OK with my aquarium. I've planted a number of Amazon Swords, with half of them doing real good. The other half are so so. My fish are all doing well, but I still seem to be having trouble with high Nitrates. I did a 85% WC today, and cleaned out my Eheim filter. Then after about 5hrs, I tested my Ammonia, Nitires, and Nitrates with my API test kit. Ammonia were 0, Nitires were 0, Nitrates were 40! I'm feeding only once a day. I have the Eheim 2217, a Rena XP-M, and an Aqueon Quiet Flow 55/75. My tank has 18 Neons, 8 Black Neons, 2 male Guppies, 3 baby Albino Corys, 2 baby Algae Eaters, 3 Silver Tetras, 2 Dwarf Red Gouramis, 1male Platy, 1 small Angel Fish, 1Mystery Snail, and a large Plecostomus. My aquarium is a 75gal.
I want to test my tap water for Nitrates, but should I add Prime to the tap water before i test it, or just test it as it comes straight from the tap? If I have high Nitrates in my tap water to start with, what can I do? 75 gallons of water is a lot to have to buy in gallon jugs. What suggestions do you members have for me? Remember, my fish aren't showing any signs of distress. They eat, swim, and have nice color and nice fins, with bright eyes. They seem very happy and healthy.
04-09-2013, 03:47 AM #2
test the tap
then test your tank again.
make sure you read the directions on shaking which bottle. and when it tells you to shake-really shake that bottle like your life depends on it. things settle and we need to put that back into "suspension" for accurate tests.
ex: when i don't shake that well-nitrates read 0, shake like i should and i get 20ppm (which is appropriate after a week w/ no pwc)
in your case, it could be the opposite.
are you dosing any ferts (tabs or liquid) for your plants??
glad you are healed up!
04-09-2013, 10:07 AM #3
Good to hear your up and about again. I'm with Mizzou - test your tap water first. Ensure you shake the test bottles as per instructions almost to the point of ridiculousnesss - a little bit lazy and bad readings. If your tap reads 0 and an 85% change left a 40 reading, pre water change reading would have been over 200 - yu aint gonna have happy fish in that. This would point to existing trates in tap water, or test error - whether expired or not shaken enough reagent. Hope its that simple
04-09-2013, 02:14 PM #4
Mizzoutank & Dennis,
Thank you for your replies. The only 2 questions I still have is: When I test my tap water do I add Prime to the water I'm testing? And: If I do have high Nitrates in my tap water, what can I do about it?
04-10-2013, 01:36 AM #5
test straight from the tap, if its high you could use plants to reduce the nitrate or I have an algae scrubber that has dropped my nitrates from 30-40 down to about 10 and holds it down for at least 2 weeks. that's as long as I've left it between water changes so couldn't say how much longer this would go on.1) 140 gallon with 70 gallon sump. 1 German Rams, 50 neons , 16 Schwarzi cory, 10 harlequin rasbora, 6 Hengals Rasbora, 2 Bulldog Plecs, 4x dwarf Gouramis, 12 golden barbs, 12 cherry barbs,8 Yellow Boesemani Rainbows and loads of assasin snails. Sump has central heating pump. water flows through a 4 layer foam and 1- 2kg of bio, also has a 18"x 18" algae scrubber that works well. fluval U2 to transfer to my QT when needed
04-10-2013, 03:44 AM #6
Thank you for replying about how I test my tap water. I do have about 10 Amazon Sword plants. As far as the algae scrubber, did you have visible algae on your tank walls? My tank doesn't have any algae visible on anything on or in my tank. My Plecostomus, and my 2 algae eaters seem to keep any algae gone. Also, I have a bunch of (unwanted) pond snails which also keep any algae from really growing.
04-10-2013, 03:56 AM #7
What are your results from the tap water?
algae scrubbers are actually separate systems (like adding a 20gallon "sump") to your current set up-and in that extra area, you promote the algae growth.
the suggested premise behind it is that algae along with plants can work in a nice combo to help with nitrates and promote a healthy tank.
people have different opinions based on the success/purpose of it vs having a good water change schedule-but to each their own.
If you have a good live plant set up-and are seeing growth-then your plants should help with the nitrate issues.
so we'll need to keep learning about your set up to figure out what is causing this-they come from somewhere!
04-22-2013, 09:27 PM #8
I sorry I took so long to get back to you. Unfortunately, my best buddy, my cat Simba of 18 years, had to be sent to the Rainbow Bridge.
It really hit me hard and I haven't been up to my regular schedule. Anyway, back to the Nitrates.
My tap water showed Nitrates at 5.0ppm. Ammonia at .50ppm.
My readings from my tank today were: Ammonia 0ppm. Nitrite 0ppm. Nitrate 80ppm. Now one of my canister filters developed a problem and needs me to fix it, so that made be contributing to the high Nitrate reading. I'm going to do a 80% WC tomorrow, first thing.
So at least I know it's not my tap water.
I picked up a product at Petsmart called "Natural Nitrate Reducer," made by Instant Ocean. Have you ever heard of it? Do you think it can work or is it just "snake oil?"
BTW, thank you for explaining to me what a "Algae Scrubber" is.
04-22-2013, 10:27 PM #9
Dirty filter media will also raise nitrates. Clean water going through dirty sponges simply will raise it again so keep that filter media rinsed out, as well. With numerous filters, that should be no problem. Just get into a habit of doing one filter each water change.
04-23-2013, 12:47 AM #10
I'm in the process of cleaning my canister filters this week. Had already cleaned the Eheim canister right before Simba passed. Then everything came to a halt.